The court was hearing a plea of Metropolitan Magistrate Twinkle Wadhwa, who sought its direction to the university to consider her application for enrolment to the Ph.D. programme.
The division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said: “The university should file an affidavit regarding criteria of the university required for pursuing Ph.D., in the condition applicant is working.”
“If a teacher of the Delhi University can be allowed to pursue a Ph.D. course to enhance academic acumen, why should a judge be compelled to take study leave to go for a research programme?” said the petition.
During the arguments, the bench said Ph.D. was a fulltime course and needed concentration as it was related to research work.
“If one is doing two works at a time, the person’s mind may get distracted,” said Justice Khanna, adding that while pursuing LL.M., students needed 75 percent attendance and they could even attend classes in two shifts, which was not possible with the Ph.D.
The case would be heard next Sep 27.
During the last hearing, the university claimed that it was merely following a regulation of the University Grants Commission.
The UGC defended its rule, arguing it was meant to maintain academic standards.
“The Ph.D. is a full-time programme for which the student needs to devote himself or herself for obtaining such degree. The UGC is of the view that in order to
maintain standards of research degrees, a degree in the nature of Ph.D. cannot be termed part-time,” the university told the court.
Wadhwa approached the court last year after the university refused to allow her to pursue a Ph.D. course as she was employed as a judicial officer. The university asked her to take study leave for two years.
“The impugned rule under the 2008 regulation was arbitrary and vitiated from unequal treatment because while everyone else was required to apply for a two-year
study leave, those employed as teachers in Delhi University colleges and schools could pursue the course and work at the same time,” said Wadhwa in her petition.
The petition requested the court to quash the university’s ordinance necessitating such condition, and direct the university to consider her application for enrolment to the Ph.D. programme.